The second distinction to be made: this sutra says, Look lovingly on some object. Really, even if you look lovingly at something material, insentient, the object will become a person. If you look lovingly at it, your love is the key to transform anything into a person. If you look lovingly at a tree, the tree becomes a person.
Just the other day I was talking with Vivek, a close disciple, and I told her that when we move to the new ashram we will name every tree, because every tree is a person. Have you ever heard of anyone naming a tree? No one names a tree because no one feels love for it. If the case were otherwise, a tree would become a person. Then it is not just one in a crowd, it becomes unique.
You name dogs and cats. When you name a dog and you call it Tiger or something else, the dog becomes a person. Then it is not just one dog amongst other dogs, it has a personality; you have created a person. Whenever you look lovingly at something, it becomes a person.
And the contrary is also true. Whenever you look with lustful eyes toward a person, the person becomes an object, a thing. That is why lustful eyes are repulsive – because no one likes to become a thing. When you look at your wife with lustful eyes – or at any other woman, or man, with lustful eyes – the other feels hurt. What are you doing really? You are changing a person, a living person, into a dead instrument. You are thinking of how to “use,” and the person is killed.
That is why lustful eyes are repulsive, ugly. When you look at someone with love, the other is raised. He becomes unique. Suddenly he becomes a person. A person cannot be replaced; a thing can be replaced. A “thing” means that which is replaceable; a “person” means that which cannot be replaced: there is no possibility of replacing him or her. A person is unique; a thing is not unique.
Love makes anything unique. That is why without love you never feel like a person. Unless someone loves you deeply, you never feel that you have any uniqueness. You are just one in a crowd – just a number, a datum. You can be changed.
For example, if you are a clerk in an office or a teacher in a school or a professor in a university, your professor-hood is replaceable. Another professor will replace you; he can replace you at any moment because you are just used there as a professor. You have a functional meaning and significance.
If you are a clerk, someone else is easily able to do the work. The work will not wait for you. If you die this moment, the next moment someone will replace you and the mechanism will continue. You were just a figure – another figure will do. You were just a utility.
But then someone falls in love with this clerk or this professor. Suddenly the clerk is no more a clerk; he has become a unique person. If he dies, then the beloved cannot replace him. He is irreplaceable. Then the whole world may go on in the same way, but the one who was in love cannot be the same. This uniqueness, this being a person, happens through love.
This sutra says, Look lovingly at some object. It makes no distinction between an object and a person. There is no need, because when you look lovingly anything will become a person. The very look changes, transforms.